Excess weight / adiposity
Excess weight coupled with excess body fat is a widespread health problem in our society. Various methods are available to assess excess body weight: a) rule of thumb to calculate normal or ideal weight; b) assessing the body weight via the Body Mass Index (BMI); c) by means of a Bioimpendance Analysis (BIA).
The BMI is calculated by dividing weight by height squared (in meters).
BMI = (weight in kilograms) / (height in meters)2
The normal BMI value ranges between 18.6 kg/m2 to 25 kg/m2. As long as your weight does not deviate too much from the optimum, the subject matter is irrelevant from a medical point of view. If a person with normal weight still wants to lose some of that weight, then he/she would just be trying to achieve a beauty ideal that the media suggests is worthy of aspiring towards. In this case loosing weight would not really be necessary.
However, it is another matter if noticeable excess weight has a detrimental effect on health. It can cause cardiovascular diseases, backaches, joint problems or complications as a result of the fatty infiltration or degeneration of single organs. In this case it would be necessary to consult a doctor and search for the causes of adiposity.
Adiposity is frequently the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. As a rule, too much of the wrong food coupled with too little exercise produces a steady weight gain. Everyone is, of course, aware how to combat excess weight: healthier eating patterns, less fat and alcohol, more physical activity. Ultimately, it takes self-discipline to succeed in loosing weight.
Since we have to examine adiposity from an endocrinological point of view, we must also address another, more rare cause of adiposity: a metabolic disorder. Persons afflicted with this disease suffer two-fold. On the one hand they are battling against excess weight; on the other hand they are confronted with accusations that their obesity is the result of a failure to exercise self-control and thus their own fault.
Possible hormonal causes of obesity could be, for example, hypothyroidism, Cushing's syndrome (a condition that results from adrenal glands producing excess hormones), or a brain tumour.
In conclusion it can be said that overweight patients should be examined by a hormone specialist to ascertain the cause of the disease and to determine what kind of treatment is appropriate. In addition, patients should adopt a weight-reduction program and aim for a steady weight loss.